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Both defenses came out to play in a game reminiscent of the 1990 NFC championship game between these 2 teams. On a sloppy field neither offense could get going on each of their first possession.
On the 49ers second drive starting at their own it took just 2 plays for Alex Smith to find his favorite Tight End Vernon Davis for a long 73-yard touchdown down the right sideline. It looked like the Niners offense would start right where they left off against the Saints a week prior.
That would not be the case as the 49ers would not score for the remainder of the 1st half. The Giants in that time were able to move the ball efficiently. They would go on a 10 play 68 yard drive that was capped off by a 6 yard touchdown pass from Eli Manning.
The Giants were able to add another field goal before the end of the first half after getting the ball back with 1:36 on the clock and no timeouts.
The score would be Giants 10 49ers 7 going into the locker room. The defense seemed to have no answer on 3rd down, and Victor Cruz was having the game of his life with 8 catches for 125 yards at the break.
The Giants would start the 3rd quarter with the ball and a lead. The defense would come up with a much needed 3 and out forcing the Giants to punt. The defensive stand would prove meaningless as the Niners offense continued to be inept.
After another brilliant defensive stand by the defense, the offense would take advantage of a short field. In just 3 plays the Niners went 54 yards for the go ahead score. Gore was able to take a dump off pass 24 yards and on the next play #11 would find #85 once again in the end-zone this time for 28 yards.
The defense held strong on the next 2 possessions but Kyle Williams would show us how valuable Ted Ginn Jr. is on returns. Williams allowed a bouncing ball to hit his leg, a ball that he shouldn’t have been within a mile of and the Giants would take over at the 49er 29 yard line.
The turnover would prove costly as Eli on 3rd and 15 would find Mario Manningham in the end-zone for the 7.
Kyle Williams would try and make up for his mental lapse with a decent kickoff return out to the 45. With a 3 point deficit Alex Smith would have to come up with another 4th quarter drive. On a wet, windy field Alex was able to gallop into Giant territory and slide down at the 33.
The play would set-up a chip shot field goal by Akers and the game was tied 17-17.
Neither team could get a drive going for the rest of regulation. We would be headed for overtime.
The overtime rules would prove useless as neither offense could go anywhere.
The game would come down to a turnover. Kyle Williams would prove once again the value of Ted Ginn by giving up the ball on another punt return. He shouldn’t have even been out there.
The Giants were set-up in field goal range and after moving the ball inside the 10, sent Lawrence Tynes out there to kick his team into to Superbowl for the second time in 4 years. There was no doubt about it as it split the uprights and split the hearts of Niner fans across the country.
The season overall was a smashing success. While it didn’t end with the ultimate goal remember, this was a rookie head coach taking a team to the NFC championship game with no offseason to work with.
We could point to Kyle Williams and put the blame on him, or the offense for its inability to come up with drives, or even the refs for the quick stop on the forward possession that would have set-up the Niners with 3 minutes already in field goal range. This game was a team effort, and we ultimately lost as a team.
It was a great run; we went from 6-10 to a 13-3 team that was 1 play from the Superbowl. Now we get to see how this team prepares, and gets better with a full offseason under their belts.